Costco Diamonds & Jewelry – A Review
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Compare Costco Diamonds & Jewelry with James Allen.
Costco is a good place to purchase diamonds and engagement rings. In the past, all their diamond engagement rings came with GIA certificates, ensuring the consumer of their authenticity and value.
However, Costco has fallen from this, and now do not offer certification in the lower price range (3-5K range) with their jewelry, which is a flashing red light for all of those looking to make the investment.
Costco is trusted by many families across the USA, but should they be trusted for diamonds and engagement rings?
A Brief History
Costco Wholesale Corporation has so successfully built a family-trusted enterprise, offering bulk items at the most affordable prices.
Costco is known for its great customer service, which is rare in a major retail chain. The first Costco opened in Seattle in 1983, and from there has expanded exponentially.
Selling nearly everything needed, Costco expanded their inventory to include diamond engagement rings.
What Costco Offer
Costco offers everything you might need to run a household, and then some. Many families spend their weekend shop at Costco, leaving with everything they might need.
When it comes to jewelry, Costco offers a very limited range. Yes, they have the standard engagement rings and center stones, but these do not come with any certification (other than a Costco certificate) and there are no on-site professionals to help with the purchasing process.
Buying a diamond engagement ring at Costco is the same as picking out a bag of chips, with no guidance or extra information to help you make the right purchase.
What Makes Costco Stand Out?
Trusted enterprise – One of the biggest selling points of Costco is that it is a store trusted by many families. When you are wanting to make a purchase holding a price tag as large as an engagement ring, you are going to go to the one place where you know your money will be safe.
Accessibility – Costco’s can be found in so many places, and unlike other brick and mortar jewelry stores, they aren’t confined to one place.
Pricing – Costco is known for its low prices, so one would assume the same concept applies to their engagement rings. This is the case with some engagement rings, but not all.
Ready-made rings – Costco sells ready-made engagement rings, so you are able to walk into the store, pick your favorite, and walk out with your ring ready to go.
Costco used to offer fairly competitive pricing on their engagement rings when they were sold with a GIA certification. However, now that lowered priced rings are sold without the proper certificates, the quality of the rings cannot be guaranteed, and therefore it is nearly impossible to tell if the price is too low or too high for the quality of the ring you are buying.
For this reason, you would be far better off purchasing a ring from James Allen. Not only are you sure to get all the information necessary for the ring, but you will get a GIA certificate, and be guaranteed a fair price for the diamond or ring.
Costco is fairly limited when it comes to providing customers with a wind range of choice. This applies to both the actual stores themselves and the website.
The choice of engagement ring settings is limited to about 20 options, which is incredibly small compared to bigger sites like Blue Nile or James Allen. Rings are sold as-is, and customers are not able to mix or match stones and settings to create their ideal ring.
In all fairness, the quality of the engagement ring settings are well crafted and are quite beautiful. If you are not too worried about a large variety, you should easily find an engagement ring that you are happy within the Costco selection.
Website Ease of Use
There is an area of the Costco website dedicated to their jewelry and engagement rings. While there do appear to be many filtering options, the only really meaningful filters are the price range, clarity, and metal.
However, the lacking filtering options do not hinder your search too much as there is a very small selection of rings on offer, so it will take you hardly any time at all to find a semi-suited ring.
One bonus of the site is being able to compare a selection of 4 engagement rings with each other. This allows you to choose your favorites, and then have a side-by-side comparison of their features, pricing, and pictures.
Remember though that the photos shown of the engagement rings online are stock photos and not the actual photo of the ring you will be purchasing.
Costco is hailed for their impeccable customer service, and are known to have one of the best return policies anywhere.
The problem comes in where there are no experts on the floor to help guide you in making the right purchasing decision. While there is Costco staff available on the floor, they do not have the right training necessary when it comes to diamond engagement rings.
Return Policy – Costco has a very generous return policy for their engagement rings, where customers are able to return their engagement rings to one of over 600 warehouses.
Customer Support – There is always Costco staff waiting to help, both in-store and online. However, knowledge is limited in the engagement ring field.
Costco Financing Options
Costco does not offer Costco financing options but instead have a Costco-branded Visa card which is from Citibank. This allows customers to extend payments by purchasing an engagement ring on the card.
Why You Should Choose Costco
- Accessible in over 600 locations
- Trusted store by families all over
- Generous return policy on purchases
Costco – Not For Diamonds
Costco is probably your first choice for many bulk and household purchases, but it is a good idea to leave them off of your engagement ring shopping list.
While they do offer some very beautiful diamond engagement rings, you cannot be assured the quality without a GIA certification, and this then leads to the question of whether the pricing is too high for the ring.
There is the upside to being able to easily return the engagement ring should you not be happy, but you should not base your jeweler solely on the ease of return, there is so much more that goes into creating a worthwhile and trusted jeweler, and unfortunately in this regard, Costco falls short.